President Robert Mugabe took his re-election campaign bid to Mutare on Tuesday where he lamented his party’s loss to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the 2008 parliamentary elections.
The former ruling party only managed a measly six seats against the then opposition party’s 20 in Manicaland province.
The Zanu PF leader again denounced homosexuality in front of thousands of supporters.
President Mugabe urged his supporters in the province to go out in their numbers to reclaim lost ground in the province where Zanu PF once enjoyed popular support.
Mr. Mugabe, who was addressing thousands of supporters at the Mutare Airport, said it was unfortunate that the party lost the seats as a result of some shortcomings and challenges faced since independence in 1980.
The Zanu PF leader, who referred to the MDC-T as ‘chikara’ (which when loosely translated in Shona means a monster), declared that the seats have to be retained ON July 31.
Mugabe said the “monster” has to be defeated at the polls.
He said the people of Manicaland should support Zanu PF in honor and respect of fallen heroes like Herbert Chitepo, who came from the province and Chief Rekayi Tangwena.
He said the country’s late heroes like Joshua Nkomo’s aspirations should be protected by a vote supporting Zanu PF as custodians of the liberation struggle.
Mr. Mugabe said MDC-T leader Morgan Tsangirai is a coward who ran away from the liberation struggle and should not be voted for presidency.
He likened Mr. Tsvangirai to his late grandfather’s dog which would run away from other dogs on hunting sprees.
Mr. Mugabe also called on Zimbabweans in the diaspora to return home and help revive the country’s economy, adding they should also benefit from his party’s empowerment programs.
He said most Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom lie to authorities there to get asylum, citing alleged persecution.
Mr. Mugabe urged those in the diaspora to make hay while the sun is still shining, noting most of them are coming back home empty-handed.
He said gays and lesbians had no rights in Zimbabwe, adding he will not give in to pressure from the West to legalise homosexuality as is the case with neighbouring South Africa.
The Zanu PF leader reiterated his call for peace, saying a violent free election would show the world Zimbabwe is a peaceful nation.
Mr. Mugabe was accompanied by first lady, Grace Mugabe, party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, Manicaland provincial governor Chris Mushowe and Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairperson John Mvundura, among other senior Zanu PF officials.